I’ve been capsule-wardrobing now since January. It was my first experience with the concept of the capsule – and it’s safe to say that it’s been educational! Here are five things I’ve learnt from the process over the past few months.
1. Capsuling is a state of mind
I initially thought it might be difficult to get into the swing of things. I’m not usually an impulse buyer, so the idea of mulling over each item you purchase and weighing up its value and purpose is not new to me. Nonetheless, the idea of committing to a set number of wardrobe pieces for a set amount of time was a little daunting at first. I found that you really have to get into a both pragmatic and minimalist (though I use this word with caution) state of mind for the capsule idea to work well for you – it’s like hypnotism, it won’t work unless you want it to!
2. Capsuling will seep into your daily life
Once you buy into the idea, capsuling will start seeping into your lifestyle generally. Your relationship with objects will become more intentional. Over the last few months, I have 1. had the biggest clear-out I’ve ever done; 2. purchased the least amount of things over any five month period since I discovered the concept of money; and 3. made the largest, most thought-out purchase I have probably ever made. Switching into this mind set has by no means made me a minimalist, but I have learnt to value my things, clothing and otherwise, in a whole new way.
3. I’m extremely good at capsuling (and you can be too)
That sounds incredibly big-headed. What I mean is this – I was due a spring capsule wardrobe update about two months ago. It didn’t happen. Why? Because I was so happy with my little capsule that I didn’t feel the need or desire to change anything around. I didn’t miss shopping or new things – I well and truly enjoyed every single piece in my wardrobe. Had the weather not (finally) changed for the better last weekend, I might have stuck with my 39 pieces into perpetuity.
What’s the lesson here though? That it’s really worth giving your chosen pieces a lot of thought at the start. Sit down and actually list the things you do with the majority of your time. Then match each item you’d like in your capsule to its uses. If there aren’t many uses for it, it probably shouldn’t make the cut. The selection for my next capsule will also go through very careful scrutiny – I’m liking this new happy-with-what-she’s-got Eliška!
4. The capsule wardrobe is a good starting point
Like many, I used the Un-Fancy capsule wardrobe planner and (slightly amended) rules to get me started. And whilst this was a great starting point, I learnt that sticking to the rules too rigidly can be counter-productive (and Caroline of Un-Fancy always makes the point that her guidelines should be adjusted to your own lifestyle). As I already mentioned, I didn’t really feel like updating my wardrobe after three months. At the same time, I know I can’t stick to my winter clothes all the way into summer. Plus, the weather in England has been unpleasantly wintery until about two weeks ago – which made my winter capsule entirely appropriate even in May! But with the weather warming up, I may finally just be in the mood for a change.
5. Capsuling helps refine your style
Not that I’m saying your style needs refining. But a few weeks into my capsule wardrobe, I discovered that I more or less stuck to a uniform, especially with my work clothes. That’s not to say I didn’t love my other pieces, but a comfortable go-to combination emerged as a clear winner. I’ve noticed the things I value in my clothing (simplicity, clean lines, comfort) and things that drive me nuts (clothes that generate static, clothes that restrict movement). It’s like a convoluted journey of self discovery. And this lesson will definitely inform my next capsule.
Have you tried doing the capsule wardrobe? What have you learnt? What have you enjoyed / disliked about it?
Top & trousers Zara | Shoes Kurt Geiger | Watch Michael Kors | Sunglasses Mango